Devon Bird Sightings

Breeding Birds

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Many of these receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young. 

You should also apply these principles to vulnerable species without the wider legal protection. 

Although some species may be found breeding at numerous locations, please keep information about them limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and, as appropriate, the RSPB

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of disturbance and persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds. Unfortuately this can involve people wanting to photograph or obtain close views of the  birds, as well as eg egg collectors. 

Every year editors on this site have to remove or edit posts which breach the code outlined here. Please play your part in making this unnecessary. 

Thank you.

Posted March 20th at 3:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Membership

If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work .

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to id@devonbirds.org.

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Tuesday 20th August 2019

Torbay

At least 3 Brown Hairstreaks at Preston Down; also 10+ Painted Ladies & a Green-veined White.

At Berry Head: 3 Clouded Yellows, 20+ Painted Ladies, Humming-bird Hawk-moth, 12+ Common Dolphins & 4 Harbour Porpoises.

Brown Hairstreak, female
Brown Hairstreak, female

Brown Hairstreak, female
Brown Hairstreak, female

Posted 5 minutes ago by Pete Aley in Other Wildlife

R.Taw - Penhill Marsh and Freminton Pill. 1015-1215. H/T 0932

2 Med Gulls and 14 Black-tailed Godwit among a roost of about 3-400 Black-headed Gulls at the Barnstaple end of the marsh. Tide 1hr in ebb.

16 Med Gulls in a smaller roost of about 40 BHGs at the Penhill Pt end of marsh.

11.30 2 Turnstone at mouth of Fremington Pill and 2 Dunlin and 27 Redshank in the Pill. Water level in the Pill still at half ebb.

Posted 4:49 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Butterflies

Brimstone butterfly spotted in an Ottery St Mary garden.

Brimstone butterfly
Brimstone butterfly

Posted 4:17 pm by Martin Bennett in Other Wildlife

East Soar

Migrants beginning to trickle through with Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, 19 Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler & Green Woodpecker (only 2nd record this year). Also Sparrowhawk, 50 Swallow, 40 House Sparrow.

Non-avian: 33 Painted Lady, 49 Small Copper, 2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Golden-ringed Dragonfly.

Flora: 178 Autumn Lady's Tresses flower spikes - a sensational count and thanks to National Trust for not grazing this area.

Posted 2:24 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Ottery St Mary

Ottery St Mary-Brimstone butterfly.

Posted 10:21 am by Martin Bennett in Other Wildlife

Shobrooke Park/Bowling Green Marsh

Hi, message for Chris Marcol RE his photos of a Bar-Headed type goose from Bowling Green Marsh on the 14th of his month - sorry to post on here but not sure how else to contact contributors - I believe your bird is in fact the Canada x Bar-head hybrid that was hatched here at Shobrooke Park last summer by our now semi-resident Bar-Headed Goose (first arrived here in mid 2014) and one of the many summering Canada Geese. The bird is identical in plumage and I have observed more unusual birds (plumage-wise/based on ring data) to frequently travel quite far from the park only to return again in the next few days, if not sooner, and sure enough, this hybrid bird was present again yesterday evening in our main pre-roost flock of Canadas (see my post from yesterday). So yes, the bird is indeed a Canada x Bar-head hybrid as you correctly thought that it may be, and I do indeed think it is highly likely to be the same individual, as I haven’t seen another goose of this hybrid type at all recently anywhere else in the Devon area. Hope this is of some help. If you’d like any more info about the bird’s history etc feel free to email me on londonbirder@gmail.com. Thank you! 

Posted 8:22 am by T. M. Mylett in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary

Osprey perched in Lincombe Woods this morning. Turnstone and Common Sandpiper in Charleton Bay, Kingfisher in Charleton Marsh.

Posted 8:02 am by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Monday 19th August 2019

Shobrooke Park

Another good day's work on patch produced a few decent finds: the first 2 Cormorant of the summer/autumn dropped in towards the beginning of the evening, the Bar-headed X Canada Goose hybrid showed well in the Canada Goose flock (126 birds strong today) alongside its Bar-head parent, and a patch first of 2 Great Black-backed Gull arrived for a brief swim on the main lake.

Posted yesterday at 11:52 pm by T. M. Mylett in General Birding

South Brent

Presumed migrant whinchat below Avon Dam yesterday, and one on Brent Hill today, where also three wheatears and hobby..

Posted yesterday at 9:01 pm by Peter Reay in General Birding

Osprey on the Taw Estuary

Osprey on the Taw Estuary this pm. Feeding on its catch then going back for another fish. Looked like this bird was in no rush to move on. Photos were at some distance but hope someone can make out if its an adult or Juvenile from the photos.

Osprey feeding on its catch at Horsey Island North Devon
Osprey feeding on its catch at Horsey Island North Devon

Osprey heading over the Taw for seconds!
Osprey heading over the Taw for seconds!

Osprey banking around gaining height
Osprey banking around gaining height

Posted yesterday at 7:03 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Sunday 18th August 2019

Taw Estuary

Highlights from my WeBS count sector along Chivenor foreshore and Sherpa Marsh, included 49 Knot, a few Greenshank and Whimbrel, 34 Mediterranean Gulls, 8 Swifts and two Little Terns in flight close to the opposite shore - two of four birds seen by Tim Davis from his WeBS sector (Instow to Isley) at Yelland.

Posted August 18th at 9:16 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Broadsands Sunday 18.30

Single ringed plover sighted at 18.30 

Posted August 18th at 7:21 pm by Kevin Bates in General Birding

Glossy Ibis and Med Gulls at Fremington Quay

The Glossy Ibis is still at Fremington Pill today. Great light this am for the bird to show off its true colours. 25+ Med Gulls at Fremington Quay on the Taw Estuary at low water. 20+ Whimbrel roosting at RSPB Isley Marsh this pm.   

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Mediterranean Gulls near Fremington Quay
Mediterranean Gulls near Fremington Quay

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull

Posted August 18th at 6:57 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Fremington Pill

Glossy ibis near the egret roost.

Posted August 18th at 6:18 pm by Richard Yeats in General Birding

Instow

On the rock beyond Instow cricket ground were - 8 ringed plover,  2 Turnstones and a great many Oyster catchers.

Distant shot of one Little ringed plover
Distant shot of one ringed plover



Posted August 18th at 1:15 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Teignmouth Sat 17th pm

Single wheatear foraging on the cliff along the the sea wall.

My first for this site.

Posted August 18th at 9:56 am by Patrick Case in General Birding

Pennymoor

Deer photographed late evening in a field near Pennymoor.

Deer
Deer

Posted August 18th at 1:03 am by Martin Bennett in Other Wildlife

Saturday 17th August 2019

Croyde

Kestrel, Wheatear and a number of Med. gulls at the Saunton end of Croyde beach.

Kestrel
Kestrel

Wheatear
Wheatear

Posted August 17th at 8:11 pm by Martin Bennett in General Birding

Ilfracombe

Of all places, In my garden today feeding under Dad's apple trees. Alas no leg rings to tell if it's a passing Lundy bird. 

A brief look offshore, 15 Gannets were being mythered by a Great Skua. 

Wheatear
Wheatear

Posted August 17th at 7:01 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Saunton Sands

While doing one of my regular wader counts on Saunton Sands this morning good to see a single Wheatear on passage. Not unusual at this site at this time of year.


Posted August 17th at 4:57 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

R.Plym at Longbridge

A Dipper was down at Longbridge, Plympton, this morning no doubt driven downstream by the raised river level caused by the recent heavy rains. 

Posted August 17th at 2:09 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Yesterday at Prawle Point Friday 16th August

Seawatch from 7am till 5pm in strong force 5 ,going 7 at times, SSW winds with occasional mist and later heavy rain.

Highlight was a pale-phased juvenile Long-Tailed Skua seen at 11.55 struggling to tack into the wind going west. Also 1 Sooty Shearwater (at 1.30pm) , I Bonxie, 18 Balearic Sheawaters amongst a constant stream of at least 4301 Manx Shearwaters (nodded off a couple of times so totals would have been greater as the passage never let up). Alas no other large shearwaters!

Also 7 Commic Terns, 87 Kittiwakes, 25 Fulmars and 744 Gannets.

Posted August 17th at 9:45 am by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Yesterday at Prawle Point Friday 16th August

Seawatch from 7am till 5pm in strong force 5 ,going 7 at times, SSW winds with occasional mist and later heavy rain.

Highlight was a pale-phased juvenile Long-Tailed Skua seen at 11.55 struggling to tack into the wind going west. Also 1 Sooty Shearwater (at 1.30pm) , I Bonxie, 18 Balearic Sheawaters amongst a constant stream of at least 4301 Manx Shearwaters (nodded off a couple of times so totals would have been greater as the passage never let up). Alas no other large shearwaters!

Also 7 Commic Terns, 87 Kittiwakes, 25 Fulmars and 744 Gannets.

Posted August 17th at 9:45 am by Tony Marchese in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Four swifts just over the house on clovelly rd Bideford

Posted August 17th at 9:08 am by Robert Marshall in General Birding

Thursday 15th August 2019

Sherpa Marsh

A productive walk around the Marsh this evening: one juv Pied Wagtail, several Sand Martins and a few House Martins, 6/7 Swifts, 25 Swans - only 3 cygnets, 1 Lapwing, 1 Little Egret, best was (at last!) a juvenile Yellow Wagtail.

Posted August 15th at 10:22 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

Saunton Sands & Braunton Burrows

Plenty of birds along the Saunton Sands shoreline late afternoon with 50+ Knot 200+ Sanderling, 200+ Oystercatcher the most ive seen here, 30+ Ringed Plover 30+ Dunlin. My first Yellow Wagtail of the early Autumn with 2 around the cattle on Braunton Marsh and two Osprey on the Taw Estuary a very pleasant walk.

Sanderling at Saunton Sands
Sanderling at Saunton Sands

Knot on Saunton Sands
Knot on Saunton Sands

2 Yellow Wagtail on Braunton Marsh
2 Yellow Wagtail on Braunton Marsh

Posted August 15th at 8:45 pm by Derek Carter in General Birding

Fremington Pill.

A walk along the road to Fremington Quay logged 70+ Redshank this afternoon in the Pill including good numbers of Juvs.  On the return back around 2:30 a single Glossy Ibis along with 2 Common Sandpiper were in the pool by the sluice.

Posted August 15th at 4:28 pm by Ken Ebsworthy in General Birding

Erme Holberton

Adult Osprey on the Erme water meadow this afternoon, sitting in dead tree with fish.

Posted August 15th at 4:15 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding

Erme Holberton

Adult Osprey on the Erme water meadow this afternoon, sitting in dead tree with fish.

Posted August 15th at 4:15 pm by Vic & Sylvia Tucker in General Birding

Soar

Still quiet, just 4 Swift, 10 Whitethroat & 300 Linnet.

Posted August 15th at 3:37 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Dipper

1 Dipper on Teign just upriver of Teigngrace

Posted August 15th at 9:43 am by Lois Pryce in General Birding

Wednesday 14th August 2019

Bowling Green Marsh - Bar-headed Goose

Yesterday and again today this juvenile Bar-headed Goose turned up with the Canada flock. It has the yellowy bill & legs as expected, and no head cross bars of an adult. bar-headed.  It however appears as big as the Canadas and overall brown/grey rather than ash grey, could it be a xCanada hybrid?

Bar-headed Goose juv
Bar-headed Goose juv

Bar-headed Goose juv
Bar-headed Goose juv

Bar-headed Goose juv
Bar-headed Goose juv

Posted August 14th at 11:43 pm by Chris Marcol in General Birding

Berry Head

Seawatching from 0600-0830hrs: 1260 Manx, 14 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Bonxie, 4 Common Scoter, 1 Teal, 11 Mediterranean Gulls, 16 Fulmar 1 Arctic Tern, 3 'comic' Terns.

Posted August 14th at 4:06 pm by Mike Langman in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts

Saunton Sands

Late Post -13/08/2019.  Small flock of 41 Knot on passage having just arrived back from the high arctic enjoying a rest, wash & preen after foraging along the shoreline.


Posted August 14th at 9:32 am by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Tuesday 13th August 2019

Velator

In the reserve late this evening tape-luring Swallows. Monday night  - 1, Tuesday night - 85, Tonight 35. Year total now over 400. Also ringed Kingfisher no 12, another juvenile. Flying over were at least 12 Swifts.

By the bridge to the reserve one, occasionally 2 Dipper these last few days.

Posted August 13th at 10:13 pm by Jon Turner in General Birding

East Soar

No migrants - best were 22 Med Gulls in Starehole Bay and 400 Linnet.

Posted August 13th at 3:03 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Juvenile cuckoo

Encounter with a juvenile cuckoo near Laughter Tor on Dartmoor yesterday. Landed in a rowan sapling right in front of me; not very concerned about my presence. If only I had a half decent camera. 

Posted August 13th at 12:49 pm by Fiona Freshney in General Birding

Avon Dam

Three brown-head goosanders roosting this morning. Had gone by 0630. Checked weekly, and these were first since 22 Jun. Would be interested to hear of any other goosanders in Devon over the next month or so at preay6960@gmail.com.

Posted August 13th at 9:54 am by Peter Reay in General Birding

Spotted Flycatchers

Spotted Flycatchers at Avon Mill Garden Centre yesterday, In the Trees by the river, catching flies, for a youngster.


Posted August 13th at 8:10 am by Kay and Gary Deare in General Birding

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